Promoter AEG Live has been cleared of liability by a Los Angeles jury in a wrongful death lawsuit that was brought by the family of Michael Jackson, in a trial that provided many glimpses into the private life and final days of the King of Pop.
The verdict capped a sensation trial of five months that was believed to shake up the way entertainment companies treat their most risky talent.
“The jury’s decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start – that although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making,” defense attorney Marvin Putnam said in a statement following the verdict.
AEG Live was sued by Jackson’s 83-year-old mother, Katherine, and his three children over the singer’s sudden death from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol.
“We will be exploring all options, legally and factually,” Jackson family lawyer Kevin Boyle said.
AEG Live disregarded Jackson’s health in their pursuit of profits did not persuade the jury, university of Southern California law professor Jody Armour said about the plaintiff’s argument. “The jury decided the case on the notions of personal responsibility, and concluded that Michael Jackson had some responsibility in picking Murray and creating the circumstances surrounding his own death,” Armour said.
“The thing that is really going to change is the boiler-plate and liability waivers in contracts,” said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of concert industry trade magazine Pollstar. “When contracts are written, they’re going to be a little more clear.”
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